Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Peace Talks in Korea

Jesus' greeting to the disciples after the Resurrection was simple: a daily greeting wanting peace for the disciples. The disciples who witnessed the death of their Master on the Cross knew that peace was not theirs. Jesus' wish for peace was not heard as in the past.

For these disciples, experiencing all kinds of confusion and fear, peace did not come easily. They were hiding in the Cenacle filled with fear of persecution and death, peace came only after the suffering, death, and Resurrection.

A priest writing for the Catholic Times introduces his meditation on the situation in Korea with the above words.  He gives us the government budget, the cost for energy, acquisition of weapons and their development and the defense budget. We are told this has increased 7% each year for a period of five years from 2010 to 2015.  

The North-South confrontation is used to justify the constant increase. Even though we have the opposition to the US Missile Defense System THAAD (high-altitude missile defense system) the pretext is to build peace on the Korean peninsula against the  North's nuclear weapons development.

The thinking on both sides is to maintain peace by increasing armaments, peace is obtained through force. The Catholic Church teaches that the arms race does not guarantee peace, but rather raises the chance for war. Human life is given little value and killing to satisfy one's own greed and interests are seen as justified. The thinking that peace can be achieved through war, violence, and force is never justified.

The countries that do not have an army do not maintain peace with arms. South and North Korea under international law face each other with a ceasefire. We do not have a genuine effort to promote peace. There is always a possibility of war which justifies the military buildup and people live in fear.

The peace from the resurrection that came to those behind locked doors was a gift of forgiveness, reconciliation, coexistence and solidarity. This is the peace that we should all desire and work to achieve.

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